With social media, Google ads and online advertising, an advertising campaign is just a few clicks away — but that doesn’t mean all a good ad campaign takes to create is just a few clicks. To make the most of an advertising budget, small businesses need to head into an advertising campaign with a plan, or risk spending without the reach. So what do small businesses need to know before setting up that marketing campaign? Here are five advertising campaign tips for small businesses.
Create an overall marketing plan.
Before you even boost that Facebook post or run that Google ad campaign, you should have a marketing plan for your business to identify your overall goals and the best ways to achieve them. A marketing plan will answer questions like, who is your audience? And what brand image do you want to portray? Creating a marketing plan helps make sure these essentials are always easy at hand for any advertising opportunity.
Create specific, measurable goals.
What is your goal for taking out that ad? Sure, you want to earn money, that’s every business’ goal for advertising. Be more specific. Is there a certain sub-audience you want to reach out to? Perhaps a specific product or service to promote? Or maybe you simply want to introduce more consumers to your brand to start building trust. The best goals, however, are also measurable so that you can make improvements for the next ad, so factor that into your plans and write down your starting numbers to compare to after the ad runs.
Keep communication channels open.
Say your ad is successful at reaching the right audiences — how will they contact you to learn more? Today, there’s hundreds of ways to do that, but try every one and you’ll soon be worn thin. Keep the communication strategies to one or two based on your audience and goals. Let customers know how they can best learn more by listing those options, like an email newsletter and a favorite social media channel. Don’t inundate them (or yourself) with ten different social media profiles, multiple email newsletters and contact forums.
Build a cohesive timeline.
Ads work better together. By establishing a timeline, you can help ads placed in multiple channels to work together for that end goal. Establish when you’ll advertise on social media (and when you’ll send reminders). Plan print ads around an event. Determine if a press release would help and when to send it. Figure out when you’ll need to order those extra flyers for that trade show booth.
Brainstorm the most effective ways to use the budget.
Advertising can quickly take up a big chunk of the budget if you let it, but sticking with only free advertising options isn’t always the wisest choice either. While some free and low-cost marketing types are very effective, make sure you’re not investing too much time with them — or you might be better off paying for the ad and saving the time for work that brings even more income to your business. Take a few minutes to consider your goals and dream up some options outside the ordinary, then find which ones will suit your budget, goals and audience best.
Developing an advertising campaign can either be a headache or a business boost. By following a few advertising campaign tips, you can help your small business to fall in the latter category.